By Joseph Erunke
ABUJA–AHEAD of 2019 general elections, the presidential candidate of Abundant Nigeria Renewal Party, ANRP, Tope Fasua, has boasted that he would embarrass President Muhammadu Buhari, candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC and his Peoples Democratic Party, PDP counterpart, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, at the presidential debate with nobel ideas on how to run the country.
The 47-year old founder and Chief Executive Officer of Global Analytics Consulting Limited, said both Buhari and Atiku have told Nigerians by their recently public presentation of their 2019 policy documents that they lacked ideas on solutions to Nigeria’s problems.
Fasua,who spoke at the School of Government and Politics,a Conversation on Good Governance,tagged:”Politics and Good Governance in Nigeria”, organized by Nehemiah Apostolic Resource Centre,Abuja, regretted that Nigeria has not had vision-driven leaders.
The programme, according to founder of Nehemiah Apostolic Resource Centre,Apostle Obii Pax-Harry,was a Christian platform,aimed at promoting good governance and politics.
” It is a 20-year vision to taking care of age people from 18 onward to begin to prepare for the future and not stumbling into the future.
So it’s a vision to train our nation builders.
We are a Christian platform. However,we believe that nation building is not a religious affairs but we promote from the Christan perspective the moral standard and the value system of heaven,”she explained.
Speaking at the event where some serving National Assembly members and candidates into some political offices in the forth coming elections graced, Mr Fasua,asked Nigerians to outrightly reject both Buhari and Atiku at the poll, insisting that they have nothing to rebuild Nigeria as they had claimed.
Fasua said he would have opportunity at the presidential debate to show Nigerians and the world in general that Buhari and Atiku whom they consider as two leading candidates in the elections that would parade over 47 presidential candidates were shallow with ideas . This,he explained, would be done when he churns out ideas on how Nigeria can be moved forward.
Hear him: “I am going to embarrass them (Buhari and Atiku) with ideas because I can see that they are shallow with ideas. They don’t have much ideas. You can see it in the new documents that they just came out with.
“Atiku was just talking that he would privatize this, privatize that, basically telling us how he wants to come and play crass capitalism by selling NNPC and so on. You could see that their ideas are shallow, they haven’t started deep thought. They just believe that they are entitled to be president, they haven’t actually given a very good thought to say what difference that they are going to do about this country.
“Buhari’s document,the so called Next Level,is also talking about how all of a sudden, they will give youth this and that,how they will give youth so and so position,how they will help women put them in so and so positions,why didn’t you do it before?
You have four years to get it done. Even when he could have removed some of his ministers and done the right thing,he refused. You can can’t come and cun the people, that’s the extent you can think of it,that he is just coming to deceive people and I am not sure Nigerians will want to be deceived twice in a space of four years.
“So, that’s the reason why some of us have thought deeply about it,I have thought deeply about the problems of Nigeria and I have fashioned out solutions for every sector. And even the super structure of Nigeria, to say how is this country supposed to be moving forward, what kind of people are we supposed to be?”
Fasua, speaking on the ongoing controversies what the minimum wage for Nigerian workers, said the N30,000 workers unions were agitating for was not the appropriate benchmark considering what he called the present inflation in the country.
According to him,for things to be done right, certain emoluments of some public servants have to be cut down.
He said:”The issue is that emoluments of some people in this country have to come down and we have to fight the war.
“Moving this country forward will require a war. For instance,if you say emoluments of people in the National Assembly should come down,they will want to remove the president that says that. For the president to do that,you have to pitch them against the people of the country. So you have to fight that war.
You can’t be living in a country some people are earning N29,000 and one senator is maybe earning N500 million or N1 billion a year,they are earning more than the president of the United States,so what are you talking about? You have to really settle down and think about things.”
He continued:”There are even parastatals in this country where they are taking advantage simply because monies that are coming through them,they sit down and spend it anyhow,the share it and pay themselves anyhow.
“The highest pay of the highest level of director is not more than N400,000 in a month. A grade level 17,step 9, the highest level you can aspire to before you become a permanent secretary is not receiving more than N400,000 in a month and that is what some trainees earned in some parastatals, trainees who are just starting work, I’m not going to mention them. How is that man who is a director supposed to feel and nobody, no government is addressing that issue.
“However,the N19,800 which has been paid to them since 2010,by the time we discuss inflation as I’m talking to you now is about N7,000 in real value. If we want to pay our workers at the same level as they were paid in 2010 at N19,800,we have to N45,000 today. That is the value of N19,800 then,so they should actually be collecting N45,000. And it should be a case of ‘let’s just reach a compromise and move on.’
” It’s not because that is what we are worth,we have to have some balances with the inflationary presence in the economy and ensure that whatever you are doing,the private sector can replicate it and the states can also pay. So,it’s a massive discussion that we have to have.”
Speaking also at the programme,a member of the House of Representatives, from Cross River State, Legor Idagbor, berated President Muhammadu Buhari, for charging youths not to contest against him in 2019 but wait to 2023.
Recall that Buhari, when signing the Not too Young to Run Bill, had called on the youth to wait until 2023 before they contest presidential election.
But Hon. Idagbor, who represents Obudu, Obanliku and Bekwarra Federal Constituency, under the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, said the president paid lip service to the bill he signed through his statement.
“He shouldn’t have done that,he should rather encouraged young people to come out and aspire and if the electorate feel that the younger person is more qualified to serve in that capacity,they will come out and vote for him.
“But I believe that with the calibre of people that are coming out in 2019,by 2023, everybody’s consciousness would be awakened and people will now begin to see the need to vote a younger person into offices. I believe the year for the young ones will be 2023.”